This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. I’m partnering with Folgers® at Walmart through the Share A Cup & A Story campaign to create personal connections within my community.
Have you ever come across someone that you know is changing the world in some way? I met this beautiful woman, *Aviva Levine, several years ago, and I just knew she was all about investing in her community. Recently, I had the opportunity to reach out to Ms. Levine and invite her over for coffee. I wanted to thank her for all her hard work in the community. I wasn’t sure if she would accept since she is super busy, but she was excited and made time for our talk.
Before her visit, I headed to Walmart to pick up some Folger’s Coffee. I didn’t quite know which one to get since Folgers has several flavors in the coffee aisle:
But I stuck with my favorite Folgers Classic Roast. I was super nervous before the visit, and I was setting up when she called to tell me she was on her way! I started the coffee in my coffee dripper, which I love. I picked Folgers because it is made from mountain grown beans and it is so aromatic, plus how can you go wrong with a brand that has been around for over 150 years! When she got here, she walked in and smelled the Folgers instantly! I knew I grabbed the right kind of coffee.
So we went outside and sat down on the stoop (that’s how we do it in the Bay Area) and enjoyed our coffee while talking about the community. I asked her about how she thinks she has impacted the community this past year. Her face lit up, and she told me that this past year had been filled with opportunities for her to share incredible sacred space within her community. One of the most powerful and rewarding experiences she had was teaching yoga inside the juvenile hall of San Francisco. The organization Lemonade-A Yoga Program, which was founded by Sandy Till (Forrest Yoga), set this all up with yoga instructors and the city of San Francisco.
She explained this was her most challenging teaching experience, mostly because she didn’t want to fail the kids in any way. It took her awhile to build the relationships that needed to exist for her to be trusted as their lead teacher, but with each class they shared together the bonds grew stronger and the wall disappeared. Listening to her talk about the kids and yoga I could tell this had an emotional impact on her as well. She said the kids in the program are bright, funny, layered and very poetic. She explained that they inspire her to stay on the path of sharing yoga as long as she can.
We had such an amazing conversation and I enjoyed her company a lot. My dog Harley was intrigued by her as well! I look forward to hearing and seeing more about Aviva Levine. Being able to sit, talk and laugh with someone who is so inspiring makes me want to do more in my community. We all need to take some time and commit to giving back! Later that night I spoke with my family about getting more involved, and they are all down with the cause. I hope someday I will inspire someone like Aviva inspired me!
If you want to share some love with a community member, ask them over for some Folgers Coffee and get the conversation started. Reaching out is the first step, and after that, it’s all how you make it work
Let us know if there is someone you would like to say THANK YOU to for their community impact.
*Thank you, Bay Area Native/Community Leader Aviva Levine ERYT200, YACEP & TRE Provider- Breatheinlove.org- In Love Retreats!